After 26 cases, coronavirus outbreak at Wallingford’s Masonicare seems resolved



WALLINGFORD — The coronavirus outbreak at the town’s largest medical facility resolved with one person dead and the lifting of all restrictions on visitors and volunteers, a spokeswoman said Friday.

The 26 COVID-19 cases, which included 18 patients on the third floor of the Ramage building at Masonic Health Center, included the death of a resident who was already in hospice care. The rest of the cases involved employees, said  Ann Collette, a Masonicare spokesperson and vice president for strategy and business development.

All of the cases “are completely resolved,” Collette said in an email on Friday. 

The third-floor unit of the facility has been open to visitors and volunteers with no restrictions since the cases resolved themselves on Aug. 21 — with all those infected having completed quarantine, Collette said. The outbreak was largely, if not entirely, limited to that unit.

Most recent state cases involve a Delta variant of the virus, called a breakthrough version of the disease because it infects people already vaccinated. The symptoms have generally been much milder than with the original COVID-19, like what Masonicare has experienced, although Masonicare never determined whether its cases were Deltas.

The facility has maintained a 96% vaccination rate overall, with some patients or staff being granted exemptions due to other health issues, Collette has said.

The 18 patients had been injected with Pfizer's two-dose vaccine, which Masonicare had issued to the 52 patients on that floor. The workers were also vaccinated but might have gotten different vaccines on their own, Collette has said. 

Masonicare has not relaxed its vigilance against a flare-up of the pandemic, Collette said.

Masks remain mandatory for all Masonicare employees. Testing of all staff and residents will continue until Sept. 4. On that date, testing will return to weekly occurrences involving unvaccinated staff and symptomatic residents and staff members only, per state Department of Public Health guidelines, Collette said.

Employing over 2,000 workers and caring for 4,500 residents and patients statewide, Masonicare is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Wallingford that describes itself as a leading Connecticut provider of nursing, rehabilitation, home care, residential living and hospice services for seniors.

nsambides@record-journal.com203-317-2279Twitter: @JrSambides



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